Hugging

I don’t get causal hugging. The type of hugging that happens between people that just have met, or maybe have met once or twice before. The type of hugging where you don’t know for sure that the person you hug is someone you like, trust or even want to hug, no matter how causal.

There are some people that I like instantly and don’t mind hugging at all, but they are few and far between. In most cases I have to use some time to get to know people before I’m comfortable with hugging them. It doesn’t always happen either; sometimes I can like people, even be friends with them, without ever feeling that hugging them is a normal part of our relationship. In the meantime I’m expected to hug everyone I talk to, anyway. I’m not okay with that. Not by a long shot. But it’s really hard to say no or to take a step back when people move forward to hug you, or even ask for a hug.

How does one deal with that? Maybe it’s just me?

On one occasion I became a bit desperate and told him flat out that I didn’t want to hug him. Of course he was taken aback and had to ask why. I told him that I’m not good with intimacy. Not a total lie, since I’m no good with being intimate with people I hardly know, and a close up hug goes far into my personal space. After that I haven’t been that desperate again, but I’m quite often uncomfortable with hugging people I don’t know much. Regrettably, I’m too shy or simply anxious about other people’s feelings and about making a possible scene that I’m unable to say anything.

I don’t understand the gesture of hugging everyone when you greet them or when you say goodbye. Friends, family and lovers, sure, in those cases a hug or two is natural, even for me. (To cuddle up with my girlfriend is on the top of my to-do list when/if I find someone. That kind of intimacy I’m rather good at and it’s addictive.) A couple of weeks ago I even asked for a hug from a new friend. Afterwards I felt bad; what if she is like me and don’t like casual hugging and don’t think hugging is natural yet, but wasn’t able to say no to me? It gave me a pause.

So … if the trend that commands that everyone have to hug everyone else, would pass soon, that would be great.

Some people probably like all the hugs, but some are not all and not everybody are able to say no thanks to the hug. Next time you are about to hug someone, ask yourself if you know the person you are about to hug well enough to know if they actually want a hug or not.

Not everyone is a hugger.

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